Queen's University

Supreme Court/battered-woman defence ruling: Queen's University expert

2013-01-21

Queen’s University law professor Nick Bala is available to talk about Friday’s Supreme Court of Canada ruling involving a Nova Scotia woman who tried to hire a hitman to kill her husband. The case will help clarify the battered-woman defence.

Nicole Ryan was acquitted because lower courts ruled she was acting out of fear for her and her child’s life. She believed police and family justice officials could do nothing to prevent an attack from her spouse as they’d failed to respond to repeated calls for help in the past.

“Even if the Supreme Court upholds Nicole Ryan’s acquittal, it does not give a license for women go out and hire a hit man because their husbands are abusive. The Ryan case featured an extremely abusive situation that lasted for 17 years and the police and family justice officials repeatedly failed to protect her. Those are two elements that are critical in this case,” says Prof. Bala, an expert on family law.

To arrange an interview, please contact communication officers Michael Onesi at 613.533.6000 ext. 77513 or michael.onesi@queensu.ca or Anne Craig at 613-533-2877 or anne.craig@queensu.ca at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

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Last updated at 8:13 pm EDT, Wed July 23, 2014
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